And so by 0500 is was light enough to read although the spectacle of colors wasn't much: pink and white, and then shades thereof that I cannot name. It is the Vigil of the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord (Introibo) and the feast of the martyrs Saints Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius (Introibo): two different Masses of course and precedence between them depends upon which version of the Calendarium Romanum one is using. In the 1960 one, which is used in the so-called 'Extraordinary Form', it is the Mass of the Vigil with commemoration of the saints' feast. At Saint-Eugene, this is what is 'on' today; whether Holy Mass is being streamed or not, I don't know: I suspect not since none of the Mass times there for today correspond to 1000 here. In any case, I said the Litany already, at Lauds. The hymn infra isn't sung until Vespers later on, i.e. First Vespers of the feast, but I think we can overlook that slight incongruity. Time for Prime.
On Thursday, June 10, from Farm Street, the Jesuit church in London, a program of St John Newman's writing on prayer with several works of music is being broadcast and streamed on Classic FM-- including the premiere of an extract from Sir James MacMillan's Nothing in Vain... if I read the quotation attributed to him aright. That title doesn't come up in the video (although I can't swear to having heard every word) so, who knows.
"I have been intrigued by Newman's poetry since I heard Elgar's setting of his Dream of Gerontius when I was young. This Meditation, in a wonderfully flowing and singable adaptation by Robert Willis, tackles existential issues with a challenging suggestion that God has created us all to do some individual service. And that even at times of great distress and alienation we are valued by Him and capable of doing good, as nothing conceived by God is done in vain. I have set this short extract for double choir in a motet which lasts about ten minutes. [I put this in bold--MP.] Pre-baroque contrapuntal models give the music its shape and design, even although there are passing moments of deliberately 'smudgy' polytonality, pitting adjacent chords up against each other. 'Nothing in vain' [I supplied the single quotation marks-- MP.] is dedicated to John Studzinski on his 65th birthday."
John Studzinski is the Maecenas behind the Genesis Foundation which has commissioned so many lovely works, none of the titles of which I can recall at the moment. A piece by Will Todd also premieres, performed along with works of Robert Parsons, Christopher Tye, William Harris, and Fernand Laloux.
It is also the feast of Saint Modoaldus (7th century), of Saint Rictrudis (7th century), and of Saint Germanus (7th century).
V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum. R. Deo grátias.